Sunday, August 07, 2011

Facebook Apologetics: Veneration vs. Worship, Pt. 7

With Part 7, "Kenneth" returns, and the remainder of the debate will be with him. His comment here shows an obvious ignorance of the Old Testament, and, as I think you'll see in Part 8, a willingness to embrace the absurd before acknowledging the truth of the Catholic position. But, don't take my word for it. Read his words below and judge for yourself:

  • In the commandment about images, God says to not make them nor bow down to them. In this case, the RCC is not just violating the spirit of the commandment, but the letter also. In your post on the commandments, you said the RCC does not condone such things, but aren't you really circumventing the issues by redefining them with word games?

    When it comes right down to it, when you remove "worship" from the running, veneration would easily supplant it. Give an example of someone "venerating" someone or something in the Bible. We should be able to find a suitable replacement for "venerate" in at least 6,000 years of Bible history.

God's commandment was against creating images and statues WITH THE PURPOSE OF WORSHIPING THEM. If His commandment was a blanket prohibition against ALL images, then you have a lot to answer for. After all, throughout the OT, we see God commanding that a whole host of statues and "graven images" be made. He seems to be particularly fond of angel statues and images of angels. He commanded two golden statues of cherubim be added to the top of the Ark of the Covenant (cf. Exo 25:18-22). Cherubim were also woven into the curtains that comprised the Tabernacle where the Ark resided (cf. Exo 26:1, 31).

Solomon's temple was filled with statues of cherubim and images of various animals. Cherubim were carved into the altar (cf. 1 Chron 28:18-19) and two statues of cherubim, carved out of olivewood and overladen with gold were placed in the inner sanctuary (cf. 1 Kings 6:23-28). Verse 29 goes on to say, "He carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms." On the ten bronze stands were images of lions, oxen, cherubim, and palm trees (1 Ki 7:28-29, 36).

The new temple that Ezekiel describes is covered from top to bottom with carved images of cherubim and palm trees (cf. Ezek 41:17-20). Of course, there is also the bronze serpent, which God commanded Moses to make (cf. Num 21:8-9).

Considering all this, I ask you: Why in the world would God command that images and statues adorn His holiest of places -- the Ark, the Tabernacle, the Temple, the Holy of Holies -- the places where God made Himself present among His People, if the mere creation of an image or statue was a violation of His Commandments? If we go by your interpretation, we are forced to say that all of this is gross idolatry, and the Lord Himself commanded it to be done.

Pax Christi,

PS: For the other installments in this debate, see Parts One -- Two -- Three -- Four -- Five -- Six.

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